Josip Broz Tito was a Croatian Communist leader of Yugoslavia. Following World War II Tito helped to create a “second Yugoslavia,” a socialist federation that that would last from 1946 to 1991. Following the war, Marshal Tito brought together very different ethnic groups to unite the country of Yugoslavia.
Even though he was a Croat, he decided to rule from Serbian Belgrade. Through clever politics and large cult of personality, “Tito kept the peace peacefully.” Even though Tito had helped to found Cominform, he would eventually split with Soviet communism. A socialist state unlike the USSR, he believed in what is generally referred to as “Titoism.”
Titoism called for a “national communism”; an independent brand of communism specific to the needs of the state that chooses it. This new brand of communism, because of its separation from the path of the USSR, allowed Yugoslavia to attain US aid via the Marshall Plan. Eventually the gap between Soviet communism and Titoism would widen as he supported a policy of non-alignment between the two hostile blocs in the Cold War. In 1961, Tito co-founded the Non-Aligned Movement, which increased his diplomatic standing throughout the world. Not only did he have the backbone to stand against Stalin and the USSR, he was able to keep the West at a distance comfortable to him and the interests of his country. “The event was significant not only for Yugoslavia and Tito, but also for the global development of socialism, since it was the first major split between Communist states.”
Tito is seen as “creating a middle ground” between the United States and Russia during the Cold War. His policies were seen as helping contribute to peace. Tito’s great strength had been in suppressing nationalist movements within the country, even imprisoning future war criminals like Radovan Karadzic. This helped maintained unity throughout Yugoslavia while creating a multi-ethnic union of socialism. To many, he was “considered a benevolent Father about whom rousing songs were composed and whose portrait still occupies a prominent place some homes and public buildings…Children honored him en masse every year on his birthday, May 25.” This semblance of unity was maintained by sending dissidents to work camps or demoting them from power. Though sometimes his methods of suppression could be called into question, it is his stance against internal nationalist movements which kept the Yugoslav republics together.
“Fathers and Regimes: Tito and Yugoslavia.” http://cidc.library.cornell.edu/Dof/yugoslavia/yugo.htm (9 January 2010).
“Serbia destroyed Tito’s Yugoslavia.” New Kosova Report, 15 May 2009. http://www.newkosovareport.com/200905151766/Views-and-Analysis/Serbia-destroyed-Tito-s-Yugoslavia.html (9 January 2010).
“The World: Yugoslavia: Tito’s Daring Experiment.” Time. 9 August 1971 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,903055,00.html (9 January 2010).
 Time. “The World: Yugoslavia: Tito’s Daring Experiment.” 9 August 1971 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,903055,00.html (9 January 2010).
 “Fathers and Regimes: Tito and Yugoslavia.” http://cidc.library.cornell.edu/Dof/yugoslavia/yugo.htm (9 January 2010).
 New Kosova Report, 15 May 2009. “Serbia destroyed Tito’s Yugoslavia.” http://www.newkosovareport.com/200905151766/Views-and-Analysis/Serbia-destroyed-Tito-s-Yugoslavia.html (9 January 2010).
 Fathers and Regimes:Tito and Yugoslavia.